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Public Shows and Sweat Lodge Secrets

If you've been keeping up with local politics, you know that two words can sum up our current financial situation: We're broke.

While the repercussions may not be immediately apparent to Joe Citizen, he'll see it when the streets become bumpier, and there is even less to watch on TV.

The folks down at Access Tucson are concerned about that last one.

The City Council voted 4-2 last week to trim funding to outside agencies, and that means the city's free cable-access channel and production studio could go the way of Jay Leno in primetime.

To let city and county leaders know what's at stake, some Access Tucson supporters banded together for a good old-fashioned sign-waving. Check TucsonWeeklyTV.com for footage of how their rally went down.

Our next video takes us from budget protests to spiritual journeys.

Sweat lodges have gotten a bad rap due to the three deaths last year at a sweat lodge in Sedona which was run by New Age "Spiritual Warrior" James Arthur Ray—where he was charging seekers almost $10,000 a pop.

Unlike that lodge, the subject of Irene Messina's column and video this week stresses the safety aspects upfront.

While our cameras weren't allowed into the actual sweat-lodge tent during the ceremony (it was too dark anyway), we did capture the explanation of what goes on inside these spiritual ceremonies that have been practiced for hundreds of years. The Rev. Ann Marie Clock holds these ceremonies about once a month in a residential Tucson backyard; she previously ran a lodge in Salt Lake City for 15 years.

The details of each ceremony can differ. Some are silent. Some are interactive. In the ceremonies led by Clock, members can share what's on their mind one by one.


Ever wish you could go back in time and read a special section of the Tucson Weekly that you missed because you were too busy to leaf through those stacks of newspapers—because you were instead wishing you could go back in time? Well, wish no more. Click on our Special Sections button at TucsonWeekly.com, and you'll find a full-screen, interactive version of our latest special section, the GASP! last-minute gift guide that ran with our Dec. 10 issue. Sure, it's the new year, and the holidays are in the past, but we're sure that there are birthday and anniversary gifts that you'll wait until the last minute to buy. We'll post new special sections here as we publish them.


"How come when the left attacks 'people in power,' it's wonderful, but when the right or center protest what the left thinks is the truth, the 'movement' is called 'astro-turf,' and the participants are 'tea baggers' (homophobic epithet) rather than using their First Amendment rights? Now who are the hypocrites?!"

—posted by Edward Biebel via Facebook in response to "Tea Party Medicine" (Jan. 7).


Jim Nintzel continued to keep us posted on all things Mars with cool photos from the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab's HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Last week, we saw a region of the planet covered in sand dunes. Next week, we expect HiRISE to pick up images of an area covered with Walgreens and Starbucks.

Nintzel also gave us a frightening glimpse of our future with the help of State Sen. Al Melvin and State Rep. Steve Farley, and their recent visit to Arizona Illustrated. Melvin still doesn't believe in raising taxes and thinks more nuclear power plants will get us out of this mess.

Mari Herreras briefed us on a petition circulated by fans of TV's Lost, who are already grieving the last season of the show that is a cross between Lord of the Flies meets Gilligan's Island. The petition asks the show's parent company, Disney, to turn its theme parks' Tom Sawyer Island into Lost-themed island trips to Dharmaville.

John deDios of the UA School of Journalism continues sharing photos and other works from student journalists. In particular, deDios highlighted former Tucson Weekly intern Amanda Portillo, who is one of 23 students participating in The New York Times Student Journalism Institute. The 10-day program was hosted at the UA this year. DeDios also shared the work of another former Tucson Weekly intern, Samantha Sais, with a beautiful photo she took of a student at Drachman Montessori Magnet School.


The Rev. Ann Marie Clock describes the sweat lodge experience just prior to a Tucson, Ariz. ceremony.
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